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APA: APA Style

About APA style

American Psychological Association (APA) style is used in Psychology and other Social Sciences.

 The purpose of documentation is to:

  • Identify (cite) other people’s ideas and information.
  • Indicate the sources of these citations in a References list at the end of your paper.

This guide is based on the APA Manual (6th ed.) published in 2009.

APSA Style Guide

The style guide from the American Political Science Association is very similar to APA.  If you are required to use APSA, refer to the following links:

APSA Style Manual for Political Science (rev. 2006)  This guide in PDF format is produced by the APSA Committee on Publications.


APSA Documentation from the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center.  Contains bullet points for specific elements.


Cite Source APSA Style from Trinity College, Hartford CT.  Convenient listing for all media types.

Getting Started!

Where you see (p. #) with information in this guide, please refer to the designated page in the APA Manual (6th ed.).

The library owns two copies of the 6th ed.:

REF BF76.7 .P83 2010  located downstairs and not available for checkout

BF76.7 .P83 2010  located upstairs and available for checkout

If you are new to using APA style, you may want to check out the tutorial for new users, located on the APA website.

What's New in the 6th Edition

Some of the changes include:

  • The use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) in references to print and electronic sources (when available).  See pages 188 to 192 in the APA Manual (6th ed.) for more information.
  • Use a retrieval date for an online source only if the content is likely to change, such as Wikipedia entries.
  • Use state abbreviations for all U.S. cities (even major cities like New York) or the country name for cities outside the U.S.

To learn more about the changes made in the new edition, check out the "What's New" section on the official APA Website.

You may also want to check out the APA blog to learn more about the corrections made to the new manual.

APA Manual (6th ed.)

The APA Manual (6th ed.) is available at the library.